Sunday, January 19, 2014

Bookish New Years Resolutions!

So I know its already the middle of January, but better late than never! I had to think long and hard over these, add a few resolutions and delete a few others. But here goes nothing~
These are my top 10 new years resolutions.

  1. Focus more on the blogging and less on the reviewing. I know this seems kind of silly as this is {hello} a REVIEW blog, but there isn't much else to it and I'm hoping to change that this year!
  2. Get more into book tours and weekly memes. This is something I struggle with every year. It always starts out great but ends with me getting busy or completely forgetting. But with the help of this handy little schedule thing that I only just discovered (and recently failed me...) along with a new planner and an awesome new website for the virtual tours, this is something I will change! But help a girl out and send some memes her way. ;)
  3. READ MORE. I've been letting life get in my way and putting more projects and people before doing what I love most, reading. 
  4. Stop downloading books I will never read. It has become a very serious (and expensive) issue. 
  5. Keep better track of the books I've downloaded (and promised to reviewed) because the Kindle list just isn't cutting it anymore (I know, total let down for me, too!)
  6. Broaden my horizons. I've been in this either really great or really awful slump of sticking to mostly New Adult novels because that's really what I've been experiencing in my own life. Starting college, meeting new people, handling the stress of working and finding time to do homework are something I can really connect with. But I feel like every book has the same premises and it has REALLY started grating on my nerves. 
  7. Read a minimum of 2 books a week. I know this is something I will definitely struggle with. I'm busy and let's face it, I barely get time to even shower. But I will work with myself to make the time to sit down and read. I know if I stick to it, I'll be calmer and less stressed, it's just finding the time that has been getting more and more difficult! 
  8. Improve my writing style. I hope to be more personable and be able to explain more about the novel that I both liked and disliked about it. I feel as though sometimes I'm not getting my point across and that has been a real issue weighing on my mind. 
  9. Read more books because I want to, not because I have to. Let's face it, we all agree to review some books we didn't quite think through. I am one of those people. I sit down and I'll get about halfway through before realizing I don't care for the book. I'm just reading it because I have to. I need to either change my way of thinking or learn to say no. 
  10. Go to the library more. And pay off that fine, it's not going away... 
I'm looking forward to this new year and to all of exciting things to come! What are some of your (very late) bookish resolutions? 

Happy 2014 everyone! 

The Banovic Siblings Book Tour: {Review and Excerpt} Gillian Felix Jan 14th-Feb 13th!

{To read my review of Changes, go here}
Read in: January, 2014
Format: eBook
Source: Author (in exchange for an honest review)
Star Rating: 3 

Banovic Siblings – Friends & Liars

College boy Kevin Banovic’s casual affair with Savi DaCosta suited him perfectly. Things change when he finds out that Savi is his mom’s high school bestie. When Kevin tries to end their affair, Savi blackmails him. After Kevin rescues Savi’s stepdaughter, L’Wren, from her abusive boyfriend, he can’t stop thinking about her. He must find a way to handle Savi, protect L’Wren, and keep his sanity.

Bad girl Adriana Banovic is pleased with herself for getting her nemesis expelled from Westwood Academy. As feelings between her and her latest victim Haze Lyndon escalate, an unexpected rival discovers her secret and threatens to expose her. With emotions on the line, will her new rival beat her at her own game or end up another casualty of Adriana’s wrath?

Zax Banovic has it all. Tall and handsome, he’s an academic genius, with a killer smile and a heart of gold. When his best friend gets into trouble, he feels responsible and covers for him. But his best friend is not as honorable and has other plans for Zax.

The Banovic Siblings learn that blackmail is a gift that keeps on giving. This is the second book in the Family Portrait novel series.

If you like shows like the original Melrose Place, Beverly Hills 90210 and Nashville, where the guys and girls are hot and the schemes are hotter, you will like The Banovic Siblings.

The writing style is still a bit off putting. It reads like a Spanish melodrama without the pressure and anxiety that builds up to each "big" twist and turn. Maybe it even reads just a bit too fast, as there isn't hardly any emotion. 

The storyline definitely delivered and didn't disappoint. I'd venture a guess to say that I enjoyed the sequel better than the first!! While I don't want to give too much away, expect the one-two punch with each chapter. New twists, turns, a sexy new romance, and a whole lot of, well, California drama will lead up to a HUGE ending. (Which, isn't weed legal there, why are they being so secretive about the drugs??) 

3 solid stars. I had hoped to see more improvement in the writing and character development, although this one didn't have so much going on it was almost too much. The drama is just as hot and is still a great quickie read on a cold winters night! 

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Chapter 19: Cocktails and Dreams

L’Wren entered Bacchanal Jake’s with two of her girlfriends. While their intention was to have fun and enjoy the attention of guys, her mission was to see Kevin Banovic again. She knew he worked there and, without alerting her friends to her plan, casually chose Jake’s as the hangout spot for the evening.
She hated the way they’d left things. Why did she care what he thought of her? He was just some guy—some guy who cared enough to stand up for her and got hurt in the process. She carried around immense guilt, and he’d made her feel worst when she tried to apologize. She had no idea what she was going to say to him. She just knew that she had to see him again.
They ordered drinks and found a booth. L’Wren’s eyes combed the room, her breath unsteady, her palms sweaty and her stomach in knots. Maybe he had the night off.
L’Wren’s friends noticed her distraction.
“Hey, what’s going on with you?” one friend asked.
“Nothing.” She smiled nervously.
A couple of guys came over with drinks for the girls. They began chatting them up. L’Wren was not interested. She just smiled and nodded and kept an eye out for Kevin.
Her hopes began to fade after an hour. L’Wren was about ready to leave when she spotted Kevin. She took a deep breath. The air in the room was getting tight again. She watched as he flirted with a woman at the bar. The scene reminded her of Tom Cruise in the movie Cocktail, minus the bar theatrics.
She felt a twinge in the pit of her stomach that surprised her. The guy next to her said something, but she didn’t hear him. Her mind was focused on Kevin. Mentally she tried to muster courage and find something to say to him.
Her legs felt heavy as she stood and walked over to the bar. With every step her heart pounded harder and faster. As she got closer, she straightened her spine, lifted her head, and steadied her breath. She walked straight towards the end of the bar where he stood still chatting up the brunette, who looked like she was ready to ravish him. Kevin said something to her, and she smiled, then tossed her long mane, retrieved her cell phone, and touched hers with his.
Kevin stood up and looked at L’Wren. The brunette shot her a menacing look.
“What can I get you?” he asked as if she was a complete stranger.
“I just thought I’d come over and introduce myself,” she heard herself say. New-formed confidence took over. “Hi, I’m L’Wren.” She extended her arm.
The brunette’s eyes switched between them. She eventually walked away without saying a word.
“What are you doing?” Kevin asked.
“Starting over.”
Kevin was unsure where she was going with this but played along. “Kevin, nice to meet you.” He gently shook her hand.
“I’d like a martini, please. Shaken not stirred.” She perched herself on the bar stool.
They looked at each other for a moment, and then started to laugh at the obvious James Bond reference.
It was late when L’Wren’s friends said their goodbyes and left her at the bar.
Kevin served drinks, and then returned his attention to her.
It was last call when Kevin walked her to her car. “You okay to drive, or should I call for a cab?”
“Kevin,” she leaned in close to him, “when you weren’t looking, I ordered diet Sprite from the other bartender.”
“What about the martini?”
“I don’t drink martinis. I sent it to my girlfriend.”
“Oh, I feel so duped, seriously?”
She nodded affirmative.
“Since we’re confessing … I saw you the minute you walked into Jake’s.”
“Liar! You were nowhere around.”
“I was in the back room … I wanted to see if you were waiting for someone.”
“I don’t believe you. You can’t stand to be duped.” She laughed.
Kevin watched her as she got into her white Prius V and drove away.
L’Wren looked at him in the rearview mirror and smiled. That turned out better than she’d expected.
As she pulled into her driveway, she hummed ‘Kokomo’, the theme song from Cocktail. The house was dark, and she knew no one was home. Leighann had gone to the game with Zax, and who knew where Savi was. L’Wren smiled as she thought about Zax and Leighann. Those Banovic boys had charm. If Zax was anything like his brother, Leighann was a lucky girl. Just then she heard footsteps and turned around quickly.
“Jeff! You scared me.” She playfully punched him.
“Hey, baby.” He kissed her. “Here let me.” He took the keys and opened the door for her.
They began turning on the lights.
“I didn’t realize we were supposed to get together tonight,” she said, feeling uneasy.
“Do I need an appointment to see my girl?”
“No … if I knew you were coming over, I would have gotten here sooner.” She busied herself in the kitchen.
“Where were you?”
“Traffic on the 405 was a bitch.”
“Where did you say you were again?”
“Out with a couple of friends. No place special.”
“You could have called me. I would have gone to no place special with you.”
“Jeff, we talked about this. You can’t have a cow every time I go out with my friends.”
“You never invite me anywhere with your friends. Are you ashamed of me?” Jeff towered over her.
“Don’t be silly. It was just us girls. None of them had their boyfriends with them.”
“Did you have a good time?”
“Yes.” She tried to walk away from him, but she was trapped between the counter and Jeff.
He boxed her in with his arms. “Did guys hit on you?”
“What? No.” She tried to move his arm, but it was firmly planted against the counter. “Why don’t we go in the living room and talk,” she suggested, trying to sound calm.
“Why can’t you look me in the eye and tell me that guys didn’t hit on you?”
“Jeff, I think you should leave.”
“Is he coming over? Is that why you want me to leave?” Jeff raised his voice.
L’Wren knew what was coming next. She braced herself for him to either punch her in the gut or pull her hair. He wouldn’t slap her face; he didn’t like to leave visual bruises. He couldn’t have his friends know that he beat up on his girlfriend. He was quarterback of the football team and had a reputation to uphold. She gripped the counter as he yanked on her hair, tugging her head back, causing her to bump her head on the overhead cupboard.
“I have absolutely no qualms about putting a bullet through your brain right now,” Savi said calmly.
Jeff turned around to face the business end of Savi’s shiny silver revolver. L’Wren gasped. Something in her eyes told him that she meant it.
“As far as I’m concerned, you broke into my daughter’s house. I came home and found you roughing her up … a plausible story … for the police.”
Jeff held her gaze.
She clicked the gun. “Bounce.”
Jeff did as he was told. Savi walked out behind him and locked the door. L’Wren was still shivering in the kitchen.
“Where do you find those losers?” Savi asked casually. She set the gun down on the counter and poured herself a glass of wine.
L’Wren stared at the gun. She had never seen one up close before. “Why do you have a gun?”
“Target practice.” Savi drank the wine and poured another. This time she also poured a glass for L’Wren, whose hands were shaking so badly that she could barely hold the glass.
“I don’t want to be around it.”
“Then move out.” Savi picked up the offending object and walked out into the living room.
L’Wren followed. “This is my house. You’re a guest.”
Savi placed the gun in her Dior handbag.
“What if Leighann finds it?” L’Wren continued.
“It’s not a dildo, for Christ’s sake.” Savi headed to her room and shut the door.

Author: Gillian Felix 
Gillian FelixGillian Felix has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil. She enjoys creating characters that could be your next-door neighbor, but would you want them as your neighbor is another story.

Originally from the island republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Miss Felix moved to the United States in 1998. Since then she has been involved in the entertainment industry for over ten years. Her experience ranges from script supervisor to production manager on many independent features. She is trained in the Meisner and Stanislavski technique of acting, which she credits as an asset to her character development and writing.
Miss Felix is also an entrepreneur and advocate for children's and women's         rights.
Contact Links: 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Playing for Love at Deep Haven by Katy Regnery: CTC Virtual Book Tour Jan. 13th-27th!

Read in: January, 2014
Format: eBook
Source: ARC from
Star Rating: 3.5

Synopsis: From 
Violet Smith and Zach Aubrey have history…
…the kind of history he regrets and she wishes she could forget.

She was the girl. The only girl. Ever.

Nine years have passed since heavy-metal songwriter, Zach, slept with, then walked away from, his best friend, Violet. But that doesn’t change the fact that he’s never gotten over her.

He shattered her heart.

Despite the years that have passed, chick-lit novelist, Violet, vividly recalls the pain of Zach's rejection, and hates that she's never been able to completely let go of the brooding boy who turned his back on her.
When the rocker and the writer find themselves thrown back together in a strange twist of fate, their chemistry is just as scorching as ever, but old wounds don’t just disappear. Even if Zach can explain why he walked away from Violet, can she find the courage to trust him again? Together they will discover if a love that broke them both is worth a second chance at forever.

Playing songs, playing for keeps…
…Playing for Love at Deep Haven

Who would have thought after so many years that these two would find one another again? I sure did see it coming. While the novel was short and easy to read, I had a hard time clicking with either of the characters. There were moments during the novel that I definitely felt a little twinge of pain but I for sure didn't see any serious water works. While the novel was enjoyable and very well written, it was missing something. I couldn't quite get as into it as I was hoping I would. 

While I may have not been as thrilled with the characters, I LOVED the ending! If you're looking for a happy after heartache novel, this is it. But expect there to be a few bumps in the road! The author has such a great writing style and describes everything so fluidly. I may not have cared for the characters too much, but Katy has got some serious writing chops and I am looking forward to reading more of her work! 

3.5 stars. While the character development was lacking, this author is someone to look out for. The novel is short and to the point, I read it in about 2 or 3 hours. The scenery of Maine was described vividly and Zach Aubrey...mmmm c; Perfect novel for a cold winters afternoon! 
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